ALCS, Game One: New York 6, Texas 5, v.2.
A good friend just sent this to me:
Here at the Car Dealership. . . . Have lived here 25 years. Never have ever heard before a bunch of people in DFW talking and arguing about last night’s game. Could have sworn I am back home in Chicago! Whatever happens, the fact that this is occurring is great for the future of Ranger baseball. We’re just as good as the Yankees and when we come back to Texas at 3-2, I hope you can find some joy in the fact that people in car dealerships all over DFW are arguing if Lee should start game 6 – with as much fervor as if they were talking about Wade getting fired.
The crowd was fantastic last night. There was no hint of all those typical Rangers-Yankees crowds – typical even of the 1996-1998-1999 playoff series – that felt split down the middle. We need that again today. The team needs that again today.
Yes, the home field advantage is gone.
If it’s an advantage at all. This franchise is winless in seven home playoff games, including three this month.
True, Phil Hughes has been ridiculous against Texas in his career, with 15.1 scoreless innings – all in Arlington – on just three hits (all doubles, by Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz and Taylor Teagarden) and four walks, with 13 strikeouts.
But remember that the Rangers on this roster were a collective .188-hitting bunch against C.C. Sabathia going into last night’s game, when they went 6 for 17 (.353), slugged .588, and added four walks (.476 on-base).
Things felt pretty good when Texas not only reached safely with its first three hitters of the series but scored all three (only the second time in big league history that had happened). But the Rangers should have scored more in that inning.
Then New York reached safely seven straight times to start the eighth, off five pitchers, scoring five times. We miss Frankie.
Baserunners have stolen 51 bases in 54 tries against New York relievers in 2010, and that was apparently on Ian Kinsler’s mind when he wasn’t ready for Kerry Wood to throw over in the Rangers’ eighth.
If Texas wins today, all the club needs is a win from either Cliff Lee or C.J. Wilson in Yankee Stadium to bring the series back to Arlington.
The Rangers need Colby Lewis to be big this afternoon. They need to shake last night off.
They also need us to shake last night off, which may take a little stepping up on our part, but that was a winner’s atmosphere in the building on Friday, and more of that is needed.
This is a resilient team that has earned our resilience, and I’m in no mood to start talking about firing Wade yet. Win this one today, take at least one of three in New York, and bring this thing back home.
If you’re one of those who thinks an electric crowd can factor in, I hope you’ll be among the 50,000 out there in a few hours. We can do this.
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(c) Jamey Newberg